Luton is faced with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to regenerate our town centre with two major regeneration schemes at Power Court and Newlands Park. Together they will transform our town boosting the local economy by £250million a year and creating 10000 new jobs. And importantly they will act as a catalyst for further regeneration.

The two schemes – from Luton Town Football Club’s property arm 2020 Developments Ltd – include a 17500-seat stadium a 1800-capacity music venue bars restaurants entertainment and leisure facilities prestige office space and high-end retail that does not currently exist in Luton.

However despite the overwhelming support – including a UK planning record 11000 people who wrote in support to the council at the consultation stage back in 2016 – these plans are being delayed by a legal challenge. Capital & Regional the owners of The Mall shopping centre have applied by to the High Court for a judicial review which could scupper hopes of a bright new future for our town and cost Luton taxpayers up to £1million to defend in court.

With a General Election coming up on December 12 we have written to all the local candidates to become the Member of Parliament for both Luton South and Luton North asking for their stance on these proposals.

We are a strictly apolitical community group so we will publish one unedited response per day released in the order they were received by us. Here is Parvez Akhtar of the Conservative Party.

I am 100% behind your campaign to save our Town and will support the development of the Power court stadium and Newlands Park development. In fact I am listing it as one of my commitments as you can see in the enclosed leaflet. I think it is disgraceful that C and R have taken this to the courts which will delay the much needed move and development.

I am from Bedford and a huge football fan. I know through a mutual friend Rob Lee, which has meant I also have been following Luton as I know his son Elliot plays for the club. In fact my friend is trying to arrange for me to attend a game in the next few weeks.

Hope that answers your question but if you need any further info from me, happy to oblige